WORKFORCE: The chair of NHS Bath and North East Somerset is to stand down at the end of the month when the primary care trust board finally merges with NHS Wiltshire.

Malcolm Hanney, a Conservative councillor who has chaired the PCT since it was created more than 10 years ago, had previously won a four month extension to the 1 December 2011 deadline for PCT clusters to move to a single board structure.

In a submission to NHS South of England in November he argued this timetable put the PCT’s joint commissioning arrangement with Bath and North East Somerset Council at risk.

But Mr Hanney told HSJ that “BANES has one of the closest relationships between a PCT and a council” and he had wanted to ensure it was maintained, but he was now happy with the cluster arrangement.

He decided not consider becoming cluster chair due to the impending abolition of PCTs and the need to develop relationships with two additional acute trusts, he said.

HSJ understands the cluster is behind on clinical commissioning group development and has not agreed a footprint for a commissioning support service following the delay.

The cluster’s original chief executive Jeff James left in January without completing his six month notice period.  Former NHS Buckinghamshire chief Ed Macalister-Smith is leading the cluster on an interim basis.